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SREB will be connected by hydrocarbon
network pipe, high-speed railway. Maritime Silk Road to develop major ports
connected with land transportation. In 2016, China’s total trade with countries
along the “Belt and Road” was around $950 billion USD. Today
“Belt and Road” has become the most popular issue among the
international community. The belt and road initiative had attract many
attention from international society, as the world is still overshadowed by economy
crisis and anti globalization sentiment that makes developing countries
worried. How as the world should be sharing and benefiting each other and help
poor countries to develop cooperation and developing together.

One Belt and One Road
Initiative is an opportunity for Indonesia’s investment. One Belt and One Road Initiative
is a great plan made by China to make a new modern Silk Road, one of which
forms a silk path through Indonesia’s territory. One of the biggest
opportunities for Indonesia is the opportunity to invest in the sea; by which
is one of Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo’s dreams. As Indonesia gets a piece
of pie from OBOR’s plan which is the sea part and not the land part, so it is
accordance to Mr. Joko Widodo’s ideal plan to build sea tolls; as the
government plans to build infrastructure to support the toll roads in Aceh and
North Maluku in contact with OBOR.

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New Projects in North Celebes,
Indonesia with Belt and Road Initiative

The North Celebes is
located in a strategic area, which is connected directly to the South China
Sea. There are 11 projects regarding BRI cooperation with Indonesia in North
Celebes. Those projects are:

1. Likupang Tourism District

2. Bitung Eco Industrial Estate

3. Bitung Industrial Park (agriculture, fishery and
logistic)

4. Bitung International Port Development

5. Sulbagut Independent Power Producer

6. Lembeh International Airport

7. Lembeh – Manado Bridge

8. Manado LRT

9. Manado Integrated Tourism Area

10. Manado Water Treatment and Supply

11. Regional Waste Treatment Plant and Railway
Manado North Minahasa – Bitung

 

The information above not
only showing what kind of projects that Indonesia and China is going to build,
but we can also see the benefit behind these projects. As for Indonesia, it
will definitely improve the development balance through out the country one at
a time.

 

Indonesia as the World’s Maritime
Axis

As the largest archipelago
country in the world, Indonesia has a big potential to become the world’s
maritime axis. Maritime axis is a strategic idea to ensure inter-island
connectivity, the development of shipping and fishery industry, sea transport
improvements and also focused on maritime safety.

The enforcement of the sovereignty of the
maritime territory of Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, the
revitalization of maritime economic sectors, the strengthening and development
of maritime connectivity, the rehabilitation of environmental degradation and
the conservation of biodiversity, as well as the enhancement of the quality and
quantity of marine human resources, are the main programs in the administration
of President Jokowi to realize Indonesia as the maritime axis of the world.

In his speech at the East
Asia Summit, President Jokowi insisted that he was determined to make Indonesia
the world’s maritime axis. As he chose the forum to convey his idea of
Indonesia as the world’s maritime axis and hopes for the role of East Asia
Summit in the future.

A great transformation is
taking place in the 21st century. The geo-economic and geo-political center of
gravity of the world is shifting from the West to East Asia. Asian countries
are on the rise. This momentum will be very good in supporting the ideals of
Indonesia as a maritime axis of the world.

To become a maritime
country, the infrastructure between the islands and along the coasts of each
island is important to be built and developed. These inter-island roads should
really be realized to accelerate inter-island transportation in Indonesia.

Indonesia has a great
potential to become the world’s maritime axis considering Indonesia is located
in the equator region, between two continents of Asia and Australia, between
the Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as Southeast Asian countries. In order
to become a world maritime axis, the port system in Indonesia must be
modernized in accordance with international standards so that service and
access throughout the port must follow international procedures.

To realize Indonesia as the
axis of the world’s maritime, President Jokowi explained the five main pillars
that will make Indonesia realize its goal as a maritime axis of the world.

Those five pillars are:

·     
The First is the redevelopment
of Indonesian maritime culture. “As a country of 17 thousand islands,
Indonesian people must realize and see themselves as a nation whose identity,
prosperity and future, is largely determined by how we manage the oceans,”

·     
The second pillar is a
commitment to maintain and manage marine resources with a focus on building
sovereignty of seafood through the development of fishery industry by placing
fishermen as the main pillar. “Our maritime wealth will be used as much as
possible for the benefit of our people”.

·     
The third pillar is a
commitment to push infrastructure and maritime connectivity by building toll
boats, sea ports, shipping, logistics and also marine tourism

·     
Maritime diplomacy that invites
all Indonesian partners to work together in the maritime field is the fourth
pillar of the development agenda. “Together we must eliminate sources of
conflicts at sea, such as fish theft, sovereignty offenses, territorial
disputes, piracy, and marine pollution”.

·     
Finally, as a focal point for
two oceans, Indonesia is obliged to build a maritime defense force. “This
is necessary not only to safeguard our maritime sovereignty and wealth but also
as a form of our responsibility to safeguard the safety of shipping and
maritime security”.

The above goals and agenda will be
Indonesia’s focus in the 21st century. Indonesia will be the World Maritime
Axis, the power that sails through two oceans. “As a prosperous and
respected nautical nation”.

 

What Is The Connection Between Belt
And Road Initiative With Indonesia As The World’s Maritime Axis?

 

Belt
and Road Initiative for Indonesia as the World’s Maritime Axis

By getting the fund from
Belt and Road Initiative and building infrastructure development in OBOR area, there
is no doubt that it will help Indonesia to become the World’s Maritime Axis and
also helps Indonesia’s tourism to become better. Indonesia needs investment
from foreign investors, as the country it self does not have enough fund to
build development. With Belt and Road Initiative fund, Indonesia’s dream to
become the world’s maritime axis will no longer be a dream, as it can help to build
and develop inter-island infrastructure. For example, continued connectivity
development, such as inter-island sea transportation in the country.

 

What can Indonesia reap from the Belt
and Road Initiative fund?

– Belt
and Road Initiative for Social Balance in Indonesia

More fund = more
development; the fund will be given to some area which in desperate need of
development. Development = Jobs available; where there is development, there
must be manpower. Which means more jobs available. More jobs means reduction of
unemployment and so the society will finally have the chance to spend their
money on their daily needs. In addition, crime rate will decrease, as many
people will be able to work and earn money for their families.

 

– Belt
and Road Initiative for Education in Indonesia

Better roads = easier
access to remote area. Indonesia is a big country with 1.905-million km2 land
area. It is no secret that Indonesia is in desperate need of land construction
too. As better roads are building, it will also be easier for the government to
distribute groceries to rural remote area. With better construction, it will be
safer for kids in remote area to travel from their homes to the school as some
area are very remote; kids have to endanger their life to go across the river
by feet and some also have to go across the cliff with only a piece of rope.

 

– Belt
and Road Initiative for Tourism in Indonesia

More development = more
tourist. Indonesia is famous for it’s beautiful beaches and tens of thousand
islands, 17.504 islands to be exact. Some beaches are located in remote area,
far from the city center or far from the main island. Some area needs 5 hours
car ride from the city center to reach the beach. Some island needs 4-8 hours
boat ride from the main island. By improving the infrastructure, more tourists
will have more interest in finding the lost paradises in Indonesia.

 

CONCLUSION

The China-Europe Train
Block is one of the important points of One Belt One Road. OBOR is an attempt
to enhance trade and political ties between China, Europe and Asia. As the
trading partnership between China and the European Union, Indonesia is one of
China’s main trading partners.

The One Belt One Road
Program will become a huge free trade zone, considering that the major
countries involved include Russia, Japan, India, South Korea and also European
countries. The SREB, which is also known as the Modern Silk Road, is the
longest train route in the world, which goes through 10.000 kilometers along
the Eurasia Bridge. It is more efficient compared to traditional maritime transport,
and a lot cheaper compared to air transport. Train transport gives big
opportunities to local business to the countries it passes by and also gives
much employment opportunity to the people in the country itself.

As any other Asian country,
a better infrastructure will bring much more investors that can expand the
capacity of Indonesia’s industry. For example, the longest bridge in Southeast
Asia, Suramadu Bridge. It connects Java Island (through Surabaya) to Madura Island. The bridge crosses 5.4 km and
spends IDR 4.5 trillion or around USD 338,4 million. Its construction involves
several Chinese construction companies, such as Baosteel Group, Shougang
Company Ltd., and Jiangnan Heavy Industry Co. Ltd. It took 7 years to complete
the composition of 430 thousand tons of concrete and 50 thousand tons of steel
for the material, and now Suramadu Bridge is also known as a new tourism
alternative in Surabaya.

The economic integration
will be one of the Indonesian government-funding alternatives, which has always
been oriented to the west. The strength and dominance of China as a superpower
country that began to emerge, which has been dominated by the United States and
its allies, can be an alternative for Indonesia’s government for funding
national development, especially to make Indonesia as the World’s Maritime
Axis.

One Belt and One Road Initiative
project is very important and influential towards the future of Indonesia. To
realize the sea toll or maritime economy road we surely need to build excellent
infrastructure for ports, ships, industrial area, and also energy pipelines,
which needs a great amount of funding. With limited budget or fund, Indonesia
government will face a difficult time to build the infrastructure development.

Getting funds from foreign
investors to participate in building infrastructure is the right way to do. By
being one of the founding members of AIIB consortium, are expected to receive
support and cooperate in the regional area. AIIB which is the funding
institution for One Belt and One Road project, will become large and has great
influence towards Asia, and even globally. This can be seen by the concerns of
America, as AIIB will compete with IMF and World Bank in the future.

Infrastructure development
is very important for Indonesia, as it can improve the economic growth in the
country and also to realize the distribution of development in Indonesia. The
not feasible condition of Indonesia’s port, roads, power plants, ships will
indeed need to have development and improvements.

With Maritime Silk Road
from OBOR that focused on utilization of sea routes and coastal ports of China,
Indonesia will find that improved ports and hubs will improve economic
competitiveness and will reduce logistic costs, which is very important for export
industry in Indonesia. This also opens many doors to increase the supply and
demand, so it will allow local business to compete globally.

A bigger benefit that
Indonesia can get from this project is creating a huge development
opportunities in infrastructure and logistic, trading and investment, and not
to mention education. In return, it will create many job opportunities not only
for Indonesian people but also for other people in other countries across both
the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road and The Silk Road Economic Belt.

We may all hope that Mr. Xi
Jinping’s wish for Belt and Road initiative as road for peace, road of
prosperity, road of opening up, road of innovation and road for connecting
different civilizations; will truly be a win-win opportunity for both China and
other countries affiliated. As there are still many countries, which are way
behind civilization.

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